Before President Barack Obama raked up nearly $2 million in fundraising capitol, the 44th president visited 1 World Trade as he and the first lady, Michelle Obama took pics and shook hands with construction workers, the mayor and two governors.
Joined by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Mayor Bloomberg, the President and First Lady signed one of the final steel beams that will be added to the tower, which will rise to a symbolic 1,776 feet once completed.
Obama put his John Hancock on the beam with an inspiring inscription that spoke to the nation as a whole, as the President wrote, “We remember. We rebuild. We come back stronger!”
More than two dozen hardhats cheered on Obama as he initially approached the beam. He shook hands with a lucky half-dozen, slapping some on the shoulder as if they were old friends.
The beam, 28 feet long and weighing 6.5 tons, was painted white, with the name of the tower written on it in blue. It is destined to form part of the top floor, and will be lowered into place during an upcoming ceremony to mark the completion of the tower’s steel framework.
From the Ground Zero ceremony, the Prez’s motorcade headed straight to the West Village home of “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker for a $40,000-a-head event as the intimate dinner banked about $2 million, with 50 people paying the $40K each.
Speaking in a dimly lit, art-filled room, Obama told supporters they would play a critical role in an election that would determine a vision for the nation's future, saying-
"You're the tie-breaker…You're the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes."
The fund-raiser at the actress’ Charles St. brownstone was dubbed “A New York Night” and co-hosted by Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
Trombone Shorty, a jazz/funk musician from New Orleans, provided entertainment for the 50 guests which included Oscar-winner Meryl Streep, legendary singer Aretha Franklin and fashion designer Michael Kors.
The second fund-raising stop was a gala at The Plaza hotel, where some 250 supporters contributed $10,000 each raising close to $2.5 million, while Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys performed and Newark Mayor Cory Booker gave a speech.
It was a successful campaign trip for the President as he raised over $4 million in donations keeping in step with the GOP and Mitt Romney as they outpaced the Dems in fundraising $76.8 million to $60 million in May.